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8 Ways To Find And Get Local SEO Clients

Not every business owner understands the importance of local SEO—and that's where you come in. If you offer SEO services, it's your job to educate your prospects on how they can benefit from your expertise.

Besides the fact that 46% of Google searches are local, there are many reasons businesses should invest in local SEO. We'll show you how to communicate those reasons to decision-makers and turn cold leads into long-term clients.

Here are eight ways to attract local SEO clients and get them interested in your services:

Engage with local business owners

The first step toward attracting A-grade clients is to get some conversations going.

Reach out to local businesses and familiarize them with the value of SEO and any missed opportunities they might be unaware of.

This doesn't mean you should be a door-to-door salesperson.

The goal isn't to land a client straight away but to show genuine interest in their business and present yourself as a helpful friend.

Let's say you frequent a convenience store in your area.

Perhaps you've even exchanged a few words with the owner in the past. In this case, you're in a prime position to mention your SEO services through a casual conversation.

Ideally, you'll have already assessed the store's local SEO and found some holes worth plugging, such as:

  • Missing information on their Google Business Profile (GBP) page
  • Untapped keyword opportunities
  • On-page SEO issues

If you've noticed any growth potential, you can bring it up and explain how you can help the business.

The owner most likely won't see this as invasive or salesy, so you can start building a relationship with them until they're ready to work with you.

Before approaching potential clients, make sure your own SEO game is on point.

You can't promote SEO services confidently if you don't show what success looks like in practice.

Besides boosting your visibility, nailing your local SEO will show the expertise you need to build trust with prospects.

As for where to find new clients, there are plenty of opportunities to explore.

It's best to start with local business owners you've already built some rapport with, and then you can branch out to avenues like:

  • Trade communities
  • Business events
  • Fairs and shows

Filter potential clients

Just because you can work with someone doesn't mean you should.

Letting anyone through the door is likely to result in burnout.

You could end up working with low-paying clients that might cause you many headaches. Such clients typically don't understand how SEO works, so they have unrealistic expectations and want immediate results.

As much as you might feel compelled to take on any client—especially if the money is tight—remember that not everyone is worth your time and effort.

You should focus on SEO clients that value online marketing and are willing to invest in it.

The good news is that finding such businesses isn't too challenging.

The main yardstick for filtering your SEO leads is a shown interest and/or previous investment in digital marketing efforts.

For example, if someone is running Google Ads, it's a good sign they're willing to pay for your local SEO expertise.

They might also have an established online presence through blogs or other means of driving organic traffic.

In any of these cases, there's a high chance you'll have a fruitful relationship with a client. Still, you should make sure they're a good fit by comparing their needs to the scope of your services.

The last thing you want is to spread yourself thin by trying to serve everyone and meet all their needs.

You need to niche down and find the industries and services that come to you naturally so that you can give your local SEO clients the best results.

Focus on what you're good at, define your offer, and find those who can benefit from it the most.

Attend speaking events and meetups

Putting yourself out there is crucial to creating a stable stream of local SEO clients. And few methods are as effective as standing in front of a crowd and showcasing your expertise.

If you haven't dabbled in public speaking, you'll want to start as soon as possible.

A good starting point would be to attend local networking meetups and similar events.

Choose those that attract businesses from your target market, and leverage the turnout to promote your SEO agency.

In our overwhelmingly digital world, you shouldn't limit yourself to in-person events.

You need to modernize your approach and take full advantage of webinars and online events. Combining them with live meetups is an excellent way to cover all ground and expand your reach.

Matt Diggity is an excellent example of a marketer who does this well.

He runs a local SEO company and goes above and beyond to form connections through many efforts like webinars, courses, and speaking gigs.

This way, he positions himself as a thought leader in his niche.

How to make events and webinars work

To get the most out of each speaking event, follow these tips:

  • Use storytelling—A compelling narrative can draw people in and keep them glued to your keynote. Share personal experiences and success stories to keep your audience engaged and get them excited about your local SEO services.
  • Go beyond monologues—Don't make your event one-sided, as you might lose the crowd. Ask questions and encourage conversations to make your audience feel valued.
  • Leverage multimedia—Plain text gets boring pretty quickly. Add videos, infographics, and other visuals to keep things fresh and get your message across more effectively.
  • Repeat key points—Make sure not to glance over the most impactful aspects of your speech. Repetition is crucial for retention, so don't hesitate to re-emphasize the key takeaways.

Get busy on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a lead generation goldmine—if you know how to use it.

It's not enough to just create a profile and spam the "connect" button. You must cultivate genuine connections and provide value before expecting someone to work with you.

Luckily, this isn't hard to do—it all comes down to a few tips for socializing effectively:

  • Tidy up your profile—Have a professional yet friendly profile photo, and nail your bio to sum up all the benefits your local SEO clients can expect.
  • Craft custom connection invitations—Generic invites are extremely off-putting, so spend some time getting to know your connection before reaching out. Tailor the invitation to them and make it personal to start the relationship on the right foot.
  • Interact with your circle—Don't just set and forget your connections. Show genuine interest in their posts by engaging in conversations (bonus points if you share some valuable insights).

LinkedIn is jam-packed with tools that make it easy to maximize your reach, so make sure not to ignore them. Pay special attention to these features:

  • Advanced search—You can filter leads by industries, titles, locations, and numerous other factors to zero in on the ideal prospects.
  • InMail—LinkedIn's direct-message feature lets you reach out to those who aren't in your connections. InMail messages stand out in the recipient's inbox because they look different than the regular ones, so they can help you grab the attention of decision-makers.
  • Sales Navigator—This platform comes with a suite of sales tools and insights that help boost your visibility and conversions. It's a paid service but may be well worth the money if you're serious about LinkedIn marketing.

Go offline

Not all of your prospective local SEO clients are tech-savvy.

In fact, business owners who haven't fully embraced modern technologies are exactly those who might need your services the most. And you likely won't find them on social media or webinars.

Instead, you should go back to basics and leverage traditional marketing strategies, such as:

  • Business cards
  • Pamphlets
  • In-person outreach

By nature, such strategies are typically more personal because there's no mass media involved.

Make sure to take advantage of this by tailoring your approach to the prospect so that you can form and nurture meaningful relationships.

Besides getting you more local SEO clients, doing so can do wonders for positive word of mouth.

Don't underestimate the power of referrals when it comes to local SEO—Nielsen's research shows that 88% of customers trust word-of-mouth marketing over any other form of advertising.

To build a stellar reputation that will let you ride the referral wave, go the extra mile to provide outstanding services to clients. Address all their concerns and create results they'll want to share with their circle.

Partner with marketing agencies

If your client base could use a boost, why not leverage someone else's?

Plenty of marketing agencies offer services that don't include local SEO, so you can create a symbiotic partnership that will benefit everyone involved.

You can find digital marketing agencies that focus on web design, social media marketing, or even other forms of SEO like off-page or technical SEO. All that matters is that their services complement yours so that there's room to join forces.

Daunting as it may seem, forming such partnerships takes only three steps:

  1. Find potential partners—You can visit marketing conferences and work the room or take your search online through LinkedIn, Facebook groups, and other business communities.
  2. Look for the right fit—Narrow down your search by examining each agency's offering to see if your services can fit in.
  3. Craft your pitch and reach out—Approaching potential partners is pretty similar to contacting new clients. You must focus on what they get out of the relationship to pique their interest, so make your messages personal and benefit-driven.

Perform local search

The best way to know if a business needs your help is to assess its current local SEO standing.

And you can do this by browsing businesses the same way a customer would—by performing a local search. Pick your niche, and then browse businesses in your area to see if any could become clients.

For example, you can do a Google search for "hair salons near me" and see what pops up.

Examine the business' GBP listings and overall local SEO performance to see if there's room for improvement. There probably will be, as most business owners aren't SEO experts.

Another way to generate leads through local search is by looking at a business's reviews.

If you see they're not good, you can reach out to the owner and offer to turn this around through local SEO efforts and reputation management.

If your prospect is hesitant to accept your offer, explain that they're losing business as a result of bad reviews. Podium's data shows that 91% of people wouldn't consider working with a business that has an average rating of one or two stars.

When a potential client sees that there's a tangible benefit to your SEO expertise, they'll be more open to investing in your services.

Become the local SEO thought leader

The golden rule of sales is simple—give value before asking for something. You should become a go-to source of actionable information to draw in local SEO leads and get them to sign up.

There are several ways to do this, and most revolve around some form of content.

You can publish a local SEO whitepaper related to your target area and niche to demonstrate your expertise and supercharge your inbound marketing efforts.

Offer the whitepaper for free, and promote it through your blog, social media, and other channels your audience uses. When they see how much value you're willing to hand out, they'll trust that your paid services are worth their money.

If you need proof of how effective freebies can be, GetResponse's data shows they can do wonders for your conversions:

When you spark a business owner's interest, you can land the final punch with a detailed, actionable local SEO report. It should map out the road to your client's desired results to show them what's possible through your services.

To further solidify the relationship and get your client the growth they expect, make sure to:

  • Communicate on the metrics that matter—Explain the metrics you'll help the client track so that they can see the results more clearly. Doing so will demystify local SEO and show the client precisely how you're helping their business.
  • Keep them updated on progress through KPIs—Show the client how the number of their website visits, phone calls, and reviews has changed with time. Once they see a positive trend, they'll want to stick around for more.
  • Discuss tactics and their results—Your client will want to know how you're achieving the aforementioned results, so give them a breakdown of all the strategies and efforts your services encompass.
  • Outline your plan for the future—Local SEO is an ongoing endeavor, so keep showing the client what kind of business growth they can expect in the future and how you'll help them get there.

Key takeaways

  • Finding local SEO clients might seem challenging, but it's much easier if you educate future clients on the importance of optimizing for local search and highlight the many benefits they can reap.
  • If you're not sure where to start your search for SEO clients, engaging with businesses in your local area is a good starting point. Focus on business owners you've already built a relationship with, and show them what they can expect from your local SEO services.
  • Some local SEO clients aren't worth your time and effort, so don't try to work with everyone. Find those who are the right fit and are willing to invest in the value you provide.
  • Once you've leveraged existing relationships, it's time to build new ones through business events, online forums, LinkedIn, and other channels your audience frequents. Showcase your local SEO expertise by speaking at events to establish yourself as an authority and attract clients more effortlessly.
  • Don't forget to look for leads in the real world, as not all of your prospective clients are online. Take advantage of traditional marketing strategies to discover local businesses that aren't tech-savvy.
  • Partnering with a marketing agency whose services complement yours is a great way to tap into a new audience and attract new business. Explore partnership opportunities, and focus on creating a win-win scenario.
  • Becoming a local SEO thought leader can give you a massive advantage and make you a magnet for clients. Step up your content marketing and provide valuable information to show that you're the expert.

Conclusion

Local SEO isn't going anywhere, so there are plenty of opportunities to expand your business and thrive as an SEO consultant. Browse local directories, visit businesses in your area, and boost your online presence to cast a wide net and fill your pipeline with a stable stream of local SEO clients.

If you've been in the game for a while and have some additional tips to share with our community, drop them in the comment section below!

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